Skip to main content

tv   Democracy Now  LINKTV  October 17, 2019 4:00pm-5:01pm PDT

4:00 pm
10/17/19 10/17/19 [captioning made possible by democracy now!] amy: from new york, this is democracy now! >> if syria wants to fight for their land, that is up to turkey and syria as it has been for hundreds of years they have been fighting and the kurds have been fighting for hundreds of yearsr. it is been going onn for a long time. syria may have some help with russia and that is fine. they have got a lot of sand over there. there's a lot of sand they can play with. amy: as more than 300,000
4:01 pm
civilians are displaceded by fighting in northehern syria, president trump defends his decision to withdraw u.s. support for the kurds, paving the way for turkeys assault. this comes as the house passes a bipartisan bill to rebuke the president. today, vice president mike pence and secretary of state mike pompeo are in turkey seeking a cease-fire. we will get the latest from congressmember ro khanna and also speak with him about the legacy of baltimore congressmember elijah cummings, chair of the house oversight and reform committee. he died earlier today. whererst, to chicago, 25,000 teachers and thousands more aides, custodians, and security guards, have gone on strike. is to takerategy back everything that we have already won in previous contracts and offer it back to us with percentages.
4:02 pm
not what we have already, not what o our students deserve or what we are demanding, but the same thing or less. that is the problem here. amy: all that and more, coming up. welcome to democracy now!,, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman. in northern syria, as many as 300,000 civilians have been forced to flee as turkrkey's assault on kurdish-controlled areas continues. vice presidedent mike pence and secretary of state mike pompeo have arrived in turkey, where they are expected to meet with president erdogan today. they are said to be pushing for a ceasefire, which erdogan has so far rejected. turkey invaded northern syria after president trump spoke with erergan on thtelephone tober 6,nd the u.s abruptly y drew a smalall numumber of u.s. . troom the regegn. on thursday, the house of representatives voted
4:03 pm
overwhelming to condn n trump'ss acactions in syryria, in what te new york timimes" describebed as "thehe most signifificant biparn repudidiation of mr.r. trump sie he took office." shortly after the vote, trump met with house speaker nancy pelosi and other congressional leaders and had what pelosi called "a a meltdownwn." that putting two to one of the republicans voted to oppose what the president did probably got to the president because he was shaken up by it. and that is why we could not continue in the meeting because he was just not relating to the reality of it. oft we witnessed on the part ththe president wawas a meltdow. sad to say. amy: trump later said pelosi was the one who had the meltdown. during the meeting, trump also distributed a copy of a letter he sent to turkish president recep tayyip erdogan on october 9, the day of turkey's invasion. in the letter, trump wrote --
4:04 pm
"let's work out a deal! you don't want to be responsible for slaughtering thousands of people, , and i don't wawant toe destroying the turkishsh economy -- and i will." trump ended the letter writing -- "don't be a tough guy. don't be a fool! i'll call yoyou later." the bbc reports erdogan received the letter and threw it in the trash. since the u.s. withdrawal, the kurds have aligned themselves with the syrian government. a number of former isis fighters who were being held by the kurus have escscaped. we'll havave more on the tuturkh offefensive later r in the broadcdcast. in washington, d.c., one of the so-called three amigos is slated to testify to house committee lawmakers today as part of thehe ongoing impeachment inquiry. gordon sondland is the u.s. ambassador to the european union and a wealthy hotel magnate. he received his ambassadorship after donating $1 million to trump's inauguraration. his lack of diplomatic experience led one white house
4:05 pm
foreign policy advisor to complain he was a national security risk. sondland is expected to testify about now released text messages between him and bill taylor, the top u.s. diplomat to ukraine. in one of the messengers, taylor texted sondlanand, "are we now saying secured assistance in white house meeting our condition on investigations?" sondland texted back from "call me." he was referring to trump's call for the investigations of his rival joe biden and his son hunter. britain anand the european union say they've reached a new brexit deal ahead of the october 31 deadline for britain to leave the european union. the deal will still need to be ratified by both british lawmakers and european leaders. british prime minister boris johnson says he plans to put his deal to a vote in the house of commons on saturday. some british political groups, such as the democratic unionist party in northern ireland, say they will not support the agreement. meanwhile, many residents across the united kingdom continue to
4:06 pm
oppose brexit. this is johnny kelly in northern ireland. >> we are all border residents. we all have great concerns about the impact of brexit. we considered to be undemocratic in the senense the people of t e nonorth of ireland did not vote for brexit in the first place. all of the analysis outt there would demonstrate very clearly that any brexit will have a detrimental effect on the people and the economy of this island. amy: in spain, massive street protests are continuing in the catalonia region after nine spanish separatist leaders were sentenced to prison on monday for their role in catalonia's bid for independence in 2017. on wednesday night, protesters set up barricades and faced off against police for hours during the region''s third-straight night of p protests. the trump administration has proposed opening up millions of acres of alaska's tongass national forest to logging -- a move environmental activists say threatens the largest intact
4:07 pm
temperate rainforest in north america. on tuesday, trump told federal officials to reverse long-standing protections against tree cutting in the area. critics say logging would threaten not only the ecosystem, but also the forest's profitable salmon fishery and tourism industries. up to a half a million children could lose access to free school lunches under the trump administration's proposed changes to the food stamp program. that's according to a newly released analysis by the u.s. department of agriculture. critics of trump's proposal say the new analysis shows the plan is "even worse than we had feared." in chicago, 25,000 teachers are walking out of chicago public schools today to demand better pay and benefits, smaller class sizes, and more nurses, counselors, social workers and librarians. the historic strike has brought the country's third-largest school system grinding to a halt, with classes canceled for more than 350,000 students as thousands of striking workers
4:08 pm
and their allies take to picket lines throughout the city. the teachers have long demanded more support staff in schools, and are demanding the city put this pledge in writing. recent polls ahead of today's strike show chicago residents support the teachers. after headlines, we'll go to chicago for more on the teachers' strike. we will speak with an official from the chicago teachers union as well as from the seiu, the service in place international union. in more labor news, tens of thousands of general motors workers are celebrating after the united auto workers and the auto manufacturing giant reached a tentative contract deal that could end the longest strike at gm in a half century. the agreement would include wage increases, improvements to the health insurance plan, and a path to full-time work for temporary workers. the announcement came after president trump called the uaw president on wednesday night. the workers will remain on strike for at least a few more
4:09 pm
days as the union decides whether to approve the agreement. the new york city coununcil is slated to vote on an $8-billion plan to close rikers island by 2026 and build four new jails across new york city in what many are calling a national model for prison reform. for decades, human rights activists s have protested the viviolence, ababuse, and mismanagement inside rikers island and have called for its closure. yet many activists now oppose the plan to replace rikers with four new jaiails, arguing that t would be better to invest the plan's billllions of f dollars o communities and criminal jususte reforms aimed at reducing the number of people incarcerated, such as bail vouchers. the group "no new jails nyc" is staging a protest at 10:00 this morning outside city hall to demand city council members reject the land-use proposal that will clear the way for the new jails' construction. and maryland democratic congressmember elijah cummings has died at the age of 68.
4:10 pm
the longtime african american politician has for decades championed progressive causes and the rights of african americans and the poor. he has also been a fierce critic of president trump, who once called cummings majority-black district a "rodent-infested mess." cummings was born in 1951 as the son of a sharecropper. in elementary school, he was told he was "too slow" and that he spoke poorly. he rose to become one of the most powerful orators in the maryland state house and the first black house speaker pro tem, and then the chair of the congressional black caucus. compass member cummings also served as the chair of the house oversight and reform committee stop in 2016, democracy now! spoke to congress member elijah cummings from the floor of the democratic national convention in philadelphia. i asked him about the "mothers of the movement" -- the mothers of trayvon martin, michael brown, eric garner, and other african americans killed by police -- who had just taken the stage at the dnc.
4:11 pm
>> keep in mind, i have a nephew who sadly died five years ago being robbed. i went to visit his room the next day and his brain was splattered on the wall. he was 20 years old, student at old dominion university, and he is dead. at 20. i could really relate to those women because when a child dies for what, you mourn could have been. but i think -- the reason why that was so important and powerful is so that people ununderstand just trying to get understandause and the pain, or try to understand it. those women were very bold. what they did was they took their pain, turned it in to a -- pain, passion,
4:12 pm
purpose. i admire them because they have taken that pain and how they're trying to help other mothers not have to go through what they have gone through. amy: have you ever been stopped by the police over the years? >> many years. keep in mind, when i was younger i got stopped a lot more. i will never forget one time i was fortunate enough to get an acura automobile. i was being stopped almost every week. i was about 32. i was being stopped every week. amy: that was maryland congressmember elijah cummings. he died early thursday morning at johns hopkins hospital in baltimore at the age of 68. and those are some of the headlines. this is democracy now!,, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman. nermeen: and i'm nermeen shaikh. welcome to all of our listeners and viewers from around the country and around the world. 25,000 teachers and thousands
4:13 pm
more aides, custodians, and security guards are walking out of chicago public schools today to demand better pay and benefits, smaller class sizes, and more nurses, counselors, social workers, and librarians. the historic strike has brought the country's third-largest school system to a standstill, with classes canceled for more than 350,000 students as striking workers and their allies take to picket lines throughout the city. the strike was confirmed wednesday when the chicago teachers union rejected a final offer by the city's new mayor lori lightfoot following months of labor negotiations. the city offered pay raises of 16% over a five-year period, while union representatives have been calling for a 15% increase over three years. the teachers have long demanded more support staff in schools, and are demanding the city put this pledge in writing. on wednesday, chicago teacher union's stacy davis gates and
4:14 pm
chicago mayor lori lightfoot sparred as lightfoot defended the district's effort to negotiate with the union. >> at every turn, we have bent over backwards to meet the union's needs. despite all this, the chicago teachers union intends to forge ahead with a strike. >> to say you bent over backwards and it is the same proposal, not even, less than what is in there now, is absolutely ridiculous. amy: some 7500 public school workers with the service employees international union are also striking today after rejecting their own offer from the city. more than 2000 chicago park district workers with seiu local 73, who are also expected to strike today, struck a tentative agreement with the city on wednesday. they will join the picket lines before work in solidarity. the walk-out marks the first chicago public school strike in seven years. in 2012, teachers went on strike under former mayor rahm emanuel. today's walk-out is expected to be one of the first big tests
4:15 pm
for lori lightfoot, who took office as mayor in maine. well, for more, we go to chicago where we're joined by two guests. stacy davis gates is executive vice president of the chicago teacher union and science meles is executive vice president of seiu local 73. we welcome both of you to democracy now! stacy davis gates, why are you going out on strike today? >> thank you for having us. we're on strike today because we don't see another way to actually get social worker, a nurse, smaller class sizes into our school communities. we are in one of the richest cities in one of the richest countries in the entire world, and we have prioritized building playgrounds for the wealthy in lincoln park instead of putting a nurse in schools on the south and west side of the city. we are hoping to transform the way in which we value the very people who do the work in the school communities and those who desperately need the services in the school communities. , can youscience meles
4:16 pm
explain what is happening today and who all is involved? the seiu local 73 our standing shoulder to shoulder with the teachers union in the fight for fair contract. there are actions happening all over the city. pickets happening at every school in chicago. workers are demanding a fair contract and the mayor of the people -- be the mayor of the people rather than mayor of corporate america. amy: i want to go to a clip of mayor lightfoot speaking at a news conference on wednesday. we are going to see if f we have that clip. here we have it. >> we have tried to provide the best deal that is fiscally
4:17 pm
responsible, that is fair to teachers, and fair to taxpayers. without questionon, the deal w e put on the table is the best in the chicago teachers union's history. it provides a 16% pay raise for all employees, beyond compensation, we have offered more than 80 proposed changes to the contract on issues requested by the union, including sanctuary school protections, a against privatization, support for oversized classes, changes to how we serve our special education students, and so much more. folks, i'm the daughter of a union steelworker. i am a strong believer in the power of collective bargaining. yes, when it comes down to it, the right to strike. but today, we are making concerted progress. it is clear that this is not one
4:18 pm
of those moments. amy: that is mayor lori lightfoot. stacy davis gates, can you respond? >> we have a city that spent $5 million on dog parks. $5 million on dog parks. what we are asking for is hard caps on class sizes s that reach 40. 40 kindergartners on the southside of chicago stuffed into a room. 35 kindergartners stuffed into a classroom in another school on the south side of chicago. we are living in a city that is experiencing unparalleled consistent amounts of gun violence, and we need a school nurse. in the neighborhoods, especially, that her expensing the brunt of this trauma. our demands have been our demands for the last 10 years. this is not about mayor lightfoot, this is about breaking down systems of white supremacy that ask for flexibility and demand that black children in the city adjust, demand that children wait in line. this is not the type of world-class city that promotes
4:19 pm
itself as if children do not have the basic necessities that are due to them in their school communities. she has every opportunity, every chance, every power to provide chicago students with what they deserve. not what she wants to parse out, not what -- with what she gets left over when she gives wealthy developers billions of dollars on the north side of the city. nermeen: science meles, could you respond to what the mayor said, in particular she said that the city has made 80 proposed changes on the issues that were raised by thehe union. what were those changes and what exactly is the union calling for? >> i'm not quite sure what she is referring to about the 80 proposals. maybe that is referring to ctu. but in our negotiation, it is unfortunate the mayor decided to get serious and bargaining after a threat of a strike.
4:20 pm
what we have asked her to do is be a mayor -- she can make choices. there are several choices she can make. she can either fund our schools correctly come offer the support our students need in the schools, clean schools, safe schools. instead she made the choice to -- rather than treading our security officers to be able to respond to issues that pop up. these are security officers that know the students in and out. they relate to them. they see them every day. they care about them. chooses toyor that incidents go,vest which is manages our custodial services in our schools, which our schools are dirtier than they have ever been. we are saying to make a choice. be a mayor of the chicago that elected you. we are telling her to be a mayor of -- for our students.
4:21 pm
we are asking her to be a mayor of the people. it is an easy choice, but she chooses not -- she chooses not to be that. she chooses -- she continues to make the wrong decisions. it is unfortunate. we could have avoided this whole strike. -- could have avoided negotiated for the things that we are asking for. we are not asking for $1 million, $1 billion, $1 trillion. we have people who have slept in their cars because they cannot afford to live anywhere else because they have split shifts. they cannot even work a second job in order to meet their needs. but most of our members are working second, third, fourth, fifth jobs. if you ever come to chicago, you'll probably get in an u itb is probably one of our members. er to invest in our students come investing communities that elected her, invested chicago so she does have a choice and we
4:22 pm
are hoping she comes to her senses and makes the right decision when it comes to our babies in chicago public schools. you science meles, can explain what happened in the last hours were one of the locals of seiu has reached a tentative agreement with the city and one is going out on strike and how does that work? what demands were met? what weren't? >> i can give you an overview because i was not directly involved in the contract negotiation. what i understand as they reached a deal that is one of the best deals they have had. we represent about 2500 workers in chicago public schools. but that is different from what our issues are at cps. our issues in cps have been the class sizes are an issue, short staffing, special education. it is often pulled from the services they need to offer the askednd instead they are
4:23 pm
to clean closets because custodians -- custodians are asked to be recess monitor rather than what their hard to protect and provide services to. these two things are not -- are members at the park district are in support of our members at cps come in support of the ctu members. right now as we speak they are on the picket lines in support standing in solidarity with the chicago public school workers. that is where we are at right now. amy: stacy davis gates, the last strike was in 2012. that was under rahm emanueuel, e mayor. this is under lori lightfoot. what do you see is the difference or do you see a difference right now? cooks their obvious differences. we have a mayor who basically took every contract proposal we put forward and created her campaign platform. she gave very eloquent speeches about students being in school
4:24 pm
communities that are fully resourced with nurses and librarians and class sizes that are manageable. she said on the campaign trail that she was committed to doing these things. won thealready argument. we agree. the problem is she does not want to enshrine this in a contract come in a policy that is dependable, that people can look forward to, that will help to transform our school communities. listen, if you lived in chicago and you have been on the south and west side of the city, you see promises broken in those areas of the city all of the time. what we are saying as workers in the city is that you cannot continue to break promises to the people who need the resources the most. you don't break promises to build skyscrapers downtown on the taxpayer dime. you don't break the promises to build a wealthy playground for wealthy people on the north side of town, but somehow there's always a question of flexibility
4:25 pm
and an expectation of adaptability for the people who need the resources the most in the city. this strike is about drawing a line in the sand and sang the student to attend the chicago public schools deserve the me,urces, deserve -- excuse they deserve the resources and they deserve the written commitment of city leadership. nermeen: stacy davis, before we conclude, can you talk about your concerns about last size in chicago public schools? class size. class size is a big deal for us here in chicago. and spaces in the city that have suffered from massive school closures, suffered from the mass eviction of black people in the city -- you see class sizes 40 students and third grade class size in schools. over at beasley elementary school, we have three third grade classes with about 40 students in each of those
4:26 pm
classes. that is absolute insanity. we have to get to a place where we bring those class sizes down, offer the students who need the most, the best chance at getting the most. you cannot do that with class sizes of 40. it is not -- it is immoral data school district in one of the richest cities in one of the richest countries in the world that does not prioritize the student in the city and provides them with things that they need. look, the state of illinois provided the city of chicago lower1 billion extra to class sizes, find special education services, to provide our school district that is dealing with concentrated poverty with wraparound support to meet the needs of the students here. that money has to meet the school communities. and right now our members, the teachers, the para professionals, school
4:27 pm
counselors, nurses, they are sing we do not have enough to meet the needs of our students. amy: stacy davis gates, you are a mother of three in chicago public schools. what will they do today? there was a profile of you in the chicago sun-times. it talked about your mother, her aunt, her grandmother come all teamsters who worked at memorial hospital. you told of them for the sun-times goes what they show two unions were powerful, especially for black women who are disinclined to be lost. explain. cook's look, we live in a country that doesn't often hear or see black women, their worth and their work in this country. the three women who helped raise me, they gave me a strong sense of self, they told me to use my voice for justice to make sure that i was in solidarity with those who needed justice the most, and those who could fight for justice as well. so that influenced my decision,
4:28 pm
obviously, to be in the space i am in now. but it also drives this fight as parents and as taxpayers here in chicago. i sent mike kindergartner, third-grader, for greater to chicago public schools because i know they deserve to be in spaces with other kids. i know they deserve to have a nurse, librarian, and smaller class sizes. i am not just about leading. i'm about a part of the coalition of people that is needed to help transform this. my children will be on the picket line today and every day until their school gets exactly what they deserve. month, 2020st presidential hopeful bernie sanders spoke at a chicago teachers union rally. this is part of his speech. >> it is no great secret that kids can't learn and teachers can't teach if the class size is too high.
4:29 pm
i say to the city of increasesubstantially the pay and benefits for teachers in chicago. [applause] and for the support staff in chicago. tonight i say to the city of thatgo, sign a contract deals with the desperate shortage of school nurses -- [applause] of social workers -- [applause] of librarians -- [applause] staff thatr criritical keep our schools going. amy: that is senator sanders. stacy davis gates, have other presidential -- 2020 presidential hopefuls come out to speak with you? senator
4:30 pm
sanders will be holding another presidential rally on saturday in queens bridge, new york. he will be joined by alexandria ocasio-cortez. she and ilhan omomar and r refud to leave our supporting sanders. the significance of having the candidates out there with you? >> look, we have gotten support of five of the 2020 hopefuls. "if" ourent is not students deserve it, it is -- rather the fight is about making sure that these things are enshrined and a contract that is enforceable that guarantees smaller class sizes -- let's be very clear. the state of illinois has given the city of chicago its public schools $1 million more to do all of the things that senator sanders outlined at the rally here in chicago was not it is past time that the generational injustices and inequities that chicago public schools has
4:31 pm
heaped on thousands of students, that they stop. we have a mayor who says that she agrees. we expect for that agreement to be enshrined in an enforceable contract where we can depend on smaller class sizes, where we don't have to wait for a nurse to get there, where we have a social worker who connection provide our students with the trauma support they need. we have put contracts in writing that maintain filthy schools. we have put contracts in writing that over militarize and over police our schools. absolutely you can put something in writing that provides smaller class sizes and wraparound support. amy: i want to thank you both for being with us, stacy davis gates, executive vice president of the chicago teacher union. scscience meles, executive v vie president of seiu local 73. we will follow the strike the of detroit, uaw and gm have reached an agreement though it has not been fully
4:32 pm
voted on by the union. aocthis little c correctction, and ilhan omar are endorsing bernie sanders. refuted to leave has not yet -- she did to leave has not yet done so. when we come back, as more than threaded thousands of lanes are displaced by turkey's invasion of northern syria, president trump defends his decision to withdraw for the kurds, paving the way for turkeys assault. stay with us. ♪ [music break]
4:33 pm
amy: this is democracy now!, i'm amy goodman with nermeen shaikh. nermeen: as many as 300,000 civilians have been displaced as turkey's assault on kurdish-controlled areas continues in northern syria. turkey invaded the region on october 9, shortly after president trump virtually greenlit the assault by abruptly withdrawing a small number of u.s. troops who were protectinig
4:34 pm
kurdish areas in northern syria. since t tn, the kurds have aligigned themselves with thee russian-backed syrian government a number of former isis fighters who were being h held by the kus have escaped. on thursday, the house of representatives voted to condemn trump's actions in syria. the measure passed 354 to 60. "the new york times" described the vote as "the most significant bipartisan repudiation of mr. trump since he took office." amy: shortly after the vote, president trump met with house speaker nancy pelosi and other congressional leaders. the meeting did not go well. both pelosi and trump accused each other of having meltdowns. during the meeting trump also distributed a copy of a letter he sent to turkish president erdogan on october 9, the day of turkey's invasion. in the letter, trump wrote -- "let's work out a deal! you don't want to be responsible for slaughtering thousands of people, and i don't want to be destroying the turkish economy -- and i will." trump ended the letter writing -- "don't be a tough guy. don't be a fool!
4:35 pm
i'll call you later." the bbc is reporting erdogan received the letter and threw it in the trash. vice president mike pencnce and secretary of state mike pompeo are now in turkey where they are expected to meet with president erdogan today. they are said to pushing for a ceasefire. during a press conference at the white house wednesday, standing next to the italian prime minister, president trump defended his recent actions saying the u.s. should not be involved in the fighting in syria. pres. trump: they have been warring for many years. it is unnatural for us, but it is sort ofof natural for them. they fight a and they fight long and they fight hard and they have been fighting syria for a long time. and on the border, the border with syria. i say wire we protecting syria prosperous land? assad is not a friend of ours. syria has a relationship with the kurds, who, by the way, are no angels,s, ok? ?ho is an angel
4:36 pm
there are not to me around. syria has a relationship with the kurds, so they will come in further border and they will fight. they mayay bring partners in. they could bring russia in. i say bring it. russia went into afghanistan when it was t the soviet union d it became russia.. became a much smaller country because of afghanistan. you cacan overextend. he could do a lot of things but frankly, if russia is going to help in protecting the kurds, that is a good thing, not a bad thing. it would be led by syria. in syria does not want turkey to take his land. i can understand that. but t at does that have to do with the united states of america? are we supposed to fight a nato member in order that syria, who is not our friend, keeps their land? i don't think so. syria does have a relationship with the kurds. the thing that is common is everybody hates isis. the p pkk, which is part t of te kurds, as you k know, is probaby
4:37 pm
worse -- more of a terror threat in many ways than isis. so it is a very complicated, not too complicated if you arere smart, but it is a semi-complicated problem. and i think it is a problem that we have very nicely under control. amy: we are joined by two guests. in washington, d.c., ro khanna, democratic congressmember from california. member of the house committee on oversight and reform. here in new york, ozlem goner, assistant professor of sociology and anthropology at the city university of new york. she is a member of the emergency committee of rojova. she is from turkey and of kurdish origin. when you hear president trump, profesessor, talk about the kurs are used to fighting, we are not, that it has been a success because he said no u.s. soldiers have died in the area, what understanding do you have as the images of funerals are coming out now of the hundreds of
4:38 pm
thousands of people displaced, the number who have died, and of the connection to president trump abruptly announcing he is pulling the troops, however small number, from northern syria, and the invasion happening directly afterwards? >> so he is saying that there are no u.s. soldiers that have died. that is because they put the kurds in the front lines. and that is because the kurds died 11,000 -- more than 11,000 kurds of ypg and ypg fighters died in fighting isis. the role of the u.s. troops there where they were a buffer zone, they were protecting, they were preventing a turkish assault. they were preventing turkey from invading, from occupying these territories, which turkey has intended to do since daschle and amy: i think trump said 28 u.s. soldiers were there.
4:39 pm
how could 28 soldiers prevent that? >> i think he means troops. that is what i understand. hasof this tells us he little understanding of the region. he is talking about iraqi all of the sudden. he is quite confused. i also the feeling he is getting these discourses and these messages from the turkish president. for example, when he talks about the kurdish fighters, when he named them as bad or not angels. he is definitely getting discourse from the president and how to define this and obviously, these people have all been seen riding, these depictions of the region, which is not true at all and which, as we know, this were in the region started with colonialism after world war i and then the u.s. involvement in the region after woworld war ii in order to fight communism in the region. they immobilize these jihadis, islamist forces since world war
4:40 pm
ii, and then gain a new pace with the september 11 and with the u.s. war on terror. so the u.s., these people are fighting and if the kurds are fighting, it is because of the u.s. investment powers and colonialism and imperial thecies in this part of middle east in general, especially in this part of the middle east where kurds are divided into four nationstates. oppress them, massacred them in thousands. and displaced them in millions. this is also something that is not discussed, how kurds in turkey in the 1990's were displaced in millions while the u.s. and western powers were watching. if there is war, if there is violence, this is not initiated by the kurds. this is not even initiated by these nationstates. this is because this complelete area -- i mean, syria has been a
4:41 pm
proxy war. this needs to be stopped. he is taking no responsibility for aever for action terrorist organization that is new because of the u.s. policies in the region. he is very-- confused, giving multiple messages. at the same time, historical, completely historical depiction of the region. where is he getting these facts? nermeen: since the turkish assault now, humanitarian aid organizatitions have pulled out, there have been reports of widespread c casualties. what are you hearing about the situation on the ground now? >> so the situation on the ground is very dire. turkish army aligned with the syrian jihadi forces, and now the freed isis has been
4:42 pm
fighters havehe been very intense. they are targeting -- this is where the war crimes and humanitarian crisis starts. i mean, this is not where it starts with this is a bibi portion of that. hospitals.cking the e doctors without borders decided to get out -- it is not safer journalists, nototafer doctors. they a are attacking hospitals. thth are attacacking infrfrastructure a and many, may parts of northern syria, and in manyny parts of rorojova there o electricity because they are also targeting infrastructures so people are displaced. and he did say that at the u.n. conferenence september24. it is not been t that long. he saidd what he is s intending. he said hihis major intetentions to reconstruct thissrea, ethninc cleaeansing, and d displacing ks
4:43 pm
from this area so that, in his words,s,e could puthe syria sisters and brothers s who have beenen exploited and they are facingng extreme racism and exexploitation in turkey, within turkey, so he is trying to draw this benevolent image of himself to attack and displace and commit acts of ethnic cleansing in the region. and it is important, right after this.n. speech, he gave message to the turkish investors to actually go in the region and invest in the region. so this is from the perspective up turkish capitalism, which is in crisis right now. this is also unfortunate to go in an ethnically cleanse region and reconstruct engineering -- this is a war crime because they are doing population engineering, doing complete project that he declared on the u.n. that the world leaders watched, that the trump gave the green light to keep saying he is
4:44 pm
not given a green light. calle did this after phone and he decided to take the troops out, which everybody knew that turkey from 2011 on wanted to invade this region in 2014 attack.ani was under several proof that they were supporting the isis fighters in their fight against the kurds. amy: president trump new this because in the announcement of his conversation with erdogan october 6, the phone conversation where president trump announced he was abruptly pulling back u.s. soldiers, they said that turkey would invade. we're going to go to break. when we come back, we will also be joined by congress member ro khannana. stay with us. ♪ [music break]
4:45 pm
amy: this is democracy now!, i'm amy goodman with nermeen shaikh. as the house of representatives has just voted to condemn trump's actions in syria measure to 60.354
4:46 pm
"the new york times" describing about as "the most significant bipartisan repudiation of mr. trump since he took office." we also join a washington, d.c., from a member of the house oversight committee which conquers member cummings headed. in a moment, we will talk about compass member cummings with congressmember ro khanna. our condolences to you on the death of your chairman, such a significant figure in u.s. history. but we want to go to this unprecedented at this moment bipartisan rejection of what trump has done. your response to what is happening now in northern syria? >> amy, let me it is a sad day when -- with chairman cummings passing. he was a great man, the son of a sharecropper.
4:47 pm
it is a real loss, not just for congress, but for the country. president trumpmp has put amerin security at risk and has really been irresponsible. this is a clear illustration of the difference between progressives who have been calling for military restraint and president trump's america first policy that doesn't consider the moral worth of anything other than american interest. i would make two points. first, the compromise of national security. he pulled out our troops from the region without notifying the kurds, without notifying any of our allies. and as a result, a lot of isis prisoners have been released. and these folks could be threats and to theinterests united states. we were winning the war against isis. president trump, with this one action without notification, has with the national security of this country at risk. a moraladly, we have
4:48 pm
responsibility in syria. we call for regime change in 2011. we helped arm some of the opposition groups to assad. we have struck aside when he engaged in the chemical attacks against t his own people. we have had troops fighting isis. we can't just get involved in a place and then walk away and not have some moral responsibility. we have a moral responsibility not just to the kurds who fought with us against isis. we have a moral responsibility to accept syrian refugees. we have a moral responsibility to help rebuild society that was ravaged by civil war where we were involved. these are the places where president trump has shown absolutely no consideration for the obligation america has. nermeen: i would like to go back to president trump's press conference on wednesday afternoon. he talked about the u.s. military presence abroad and his decision to send additional troops to saudi arabia. even as he is w withdrawing tros
4:49 pm
from syriaia. pres. trumpmp: we are in n many countrieies. many, many countries. i am embarrassed to tell you how many. i know the exact number but i am embarrassed to say because it is so full is. we are protecting countries that don't even like us was not they take advantage of us. they don't pay. nothing. yoyou probably saw, some of you wrote and cover the fact that fact that we're sending some additional troops to saudi arabia. that is true. i appreciate the fact that i negotiated for a short period of time, a matter of minutes, with saudi arabia and they have agreed to pay for the full cost of that deployment and more, much more. >> mr. president, said you withdrew 28 troops. prpres. trump: they say it is 2. we thought it was 50. listen, all accounted for,
4:50 pm
nonobody injured, nobody missin. >> look what has happened since those troops were withdrawn and you had that conversation with president erdogan. pres. trump: no american soldiers have been killed. that is what has happened. nermeen: representative ro khanna, can you respond to that? you yourself have taken a position asking for with neural -- withdrawal sing the u.s. military should not be in the middle east. what do you think president trump, the trump administration could have done to safeguard the lives of the kurds who are now suffering from this turkish assault? and what kind of pressure could the trump administration have put on turkey to ensure the safetyty of the kurds? >> i have call for responsible withdrawal, but not a withdrawal that is oblivious to human life in syria or to american interest in syria. president trump, the first instance, should have notified the kurds about what our
4:51 pm
intentions were and notified our allies. in a phone call with erdogan without giving the kurds notice. we were misleading the kurds to believe the americans would have their back. second, we have tremendous about of leverage with turkey. we could have gotten a deal with erdogan that would have prevented this kind of invasion. we get the military support. we give them economic support. they are a nato ally. there was no consideration of that with the trumpet administration. but his answer really illustrates what he is thinking and that he does not have any concern for non-american life. here it is just a total indifference to thehe fate of te kurds who fought with us. that is not the american tradition. in america, we have a consideration for human rights. i think the president is totally miscalculated in allowing for the resurgence of isis and his actions have led to this precipitous withdrawal.
4:52 pm
i think what is really going on is the president is surrounding himself with war hawks like pompeo and bolton. they don't agree with his instinct of withdrawal come even mattis didn't. so he feels constrained and he is fighting his own administration, and that leads to rash action that are destabilizing and hurt human life. it would have been much betterer if he e had found people who had expertise and shared his value of withdrawal and would have been able to do so in a way that would have protected american interest and civilian life. nermeen: congressman, there seems to be some confusion about exactly how many troops the u.s. intends to withdraw from .orthern syria and all of syria trump says 28. what do we know about exact figures and where these troops are going? details ofhave the the exact figures, but what i do know is the withdrawal has
4:53 pm
already given a green light to turkey to invade, that there are already stories of the loss of human life. there is the story of thousands and thousands of people being displaced. so whatever action we have already taken has given turkey the license to go in and begin the displacement of the kurds. i will be without armed services and oversight committee getting the facts of what the president't's policy now is. is it a complete withdrawal? does he intend to leave any troops now still there? amy: what does it mean the senate majority leader mitch mcconnell has also condemned this? the reason there is no action on most any issue between the house and senate is because the house is democrat in the senate is republicans of the senate doesn't endorse with the house does. is he going to put a similar measure on the floor? is there going to be a joint condemnation? close i hope he does.
4:54 pm
i expect the senate will do something, but we need more than just the condemnation of the president's actions. we need to have e a framework in congress for dealing with turkey and making it clear that turkey 's economic relationship with the u.s., the relationship on military arms sales are in jeopardy if they don't immediately stop the invasion, if they don't stop the displacement of kurds. and then we need a plan in the congress about our moral responsibility to t take in s sn refugees, to taken refugees who are kurds who have been displaced, to figure out what economic assistance we can provide to that area to helelp rebuild societies that have been devastated in a civil war where we have been involved. nermeen: congressman, what about the kinds of sanctions that trump -- the trumpet administration has put in place? thereufficient, and has
4:55 pm
been any discussion of military sanctions? the you has imposed a partial arms embargo on turkey. >> we have been talking about potential arms sales restrictions to turkey. it is something the foreign affairs committee is discussing in the armed services committee is discussing. i don't think the sanctions have been sufficient for the simple reason that turkish invasasion continues and the displacement continues. this will only be resolved when turkey stops taking g those acactions. unfortunately, as i realized whwhen we did the yemen war pows resolution -- which also passed in a bipartisan way in the house and senate to restrict the president from refueling saudi planes -- what i realized then is the president of the united states has an extraordinary amount of power. there is only so much congress can do. but i think we have to maximize our congressional oversight, which is really about
4:56 pm
restricting arms sales and economic aid to turkey. amy: if you can respond to the reports that we are hearing as president trump talks about the situation being "nice there" in northern syria, because no u.s. troops have died. syria,ort coming out of a turkish airstrike on a sibling caravan in northern syria sunday killing 15 people, including two syrian having kurdish journalists. saying no u.s. life is lost. >> i think some journalist needs to ask the president bluntly, do you believe in matters anonymous can dies? is that a moral consideration for you? do you care about life that are non-american? and let him come out and say what america first foreign policy actually is.
4:57 pm
ceasing it is not moral worth if it is not about amemerican live? that has never, never been the american tradition. we had a declaration of independence that talked about the rights, inalienable rights of every human being, the dignity of every human being. president trump is perverting the very essence of america and ideals when he makes statements like that. and moreover, this is not just about the loss of kurdish life. this is not just about the loss of journalists overseas lives. this i is about the resesurgencf isis that our troops fought so hard over the last few years. and those isis fighters pose a threat not just to syria or turkey or to the middle east, they pose a threat to the united states. nermeen: your response? >> trump is trying to make it seem as if he has taken trips out of war zones. there was no war before he withdrew the troops. so his withdrawing of the troops -- amy: in that area.
4:58 pm
>> it was a peaceful area, democratic, pluralist, feminist. they had their own system of governing. the ethnicities that he claims that are fighting were living peacefully. they had communes that talked and discussed. it was the promise, the hope for peace for the middle east. but then his withdrawal of the troops caused that war. troopss taking the u.s. out of the war zone. he triggered this war. he created this war. and so he has the responsibility to stop it, which could have been stopped by no-fly zone. we are not asking for the troops remaining there forever. we are asking for guarantees such as no-fly zone that would prevent this war, which he didn't post of amy: we will continue to cover this issue. ozlem goner,, thank you for being with us assistant , professor of sociology and anthropology at the city university of new york.
4:59 pm
and congress member ro khanna of new california. our condolences on the death of elijah cummings. that does it for our broadcast. i am amy goodman with nermeen shaikh. [captioning made possible by democracy now!]
5:00 pm


info Stream Only

Uploaded by TV Archive on